Comprehensive molecular portraits of invasive lobular breast cancer

Researchers from the University of North Carolina and other academic centers (more than 200 authors collaborated on this studyhave identified three new subtypes of invasive lobular carcinoma. These subgroups are reactive-like, immune-related, and proliferative (n = 106).

The study involved the analysis of genetic and molecular patterns in more than 800 breast cancer samples, including 127 samples of invasive lobular carcinoma, a disease that’s been studied on a limited basis in previous genomic studies (emphasis added).

“Lobular cancers are not a single homogeneous group, but may represent at least three different diseases that appear to differ in their microenvironmental features, and which also show differences in outcomes,” according to the study’s senior author Charles M. Perou, PhD, University of North Carolina.

The study reaffirmed that loss of the function of a molecule called e-cadherin is the hallmark of invasive lobular carcinoma.

Patients with the “reactive-like” subtype had significantly better overall survival compared with patients with the “proliferative” subtype. And while the researchers did not find significant differences in survival for patients in the third “immune-related” group, they did find that those patients had higher levels of immune system-related functions and high expression of a number of oncology drug targets.


Comprehensive Molecular Portraits of Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer.
Cell. 163:2, 506–519.
DOI: (Open Archive).

UNC news release

Featured image: PixaBay

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